Mumbai-based film Production Company Mukta Arts is launching a film school named Whistling Woods International.

"Today most of us in the industry are products of individual and instinctive talent without much professional training," Mukta Arts' Subhash Ghai told Screendaily. "We want to change that. If the Hindi film industry needs to achieve pre-eminence and be able to address a global audience, it needs to have greater professionalism."

The Mumbai-based institute will open its doors by the end of 2004 and will teach eight disciplines - direction, cinematography, sound engineering, screenplay writing, editing, art direction, production and acting.

All programmes will be two-year full-time courses, consisting of a one-year foundation course followed by the specialisation course. It plans to be a conservatory that will train Indian and Asian students in the aesthetics of cinema as well as its business.

Spread over 20 acres in Mumbai's Film City, the institute will also be short-term courses of three months and intensive creative 3-6 month programmes.

Whistling Woods is a joint venture between Ghai's company Mukta Arts, which is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, and the Maharashtra government.

Mukta Arts has an 85% stake in the joint venture, with the government holdiing the rest. The institute is expected to cost $18m and will train 200 students a year.

Facilities will include a television shooting floor/control room, professional sound recording and mixing studios, dubbing theatre, 300-seat conference hall, cinematography studio/DV and Arriflex cameras, photography studios and dark rooms, professional lighting systems, Internet-connected classrooms, and post-production equipment.

Film star and producer Aamir Khan has already donated the rushes of Lagaan, his blockbuster movie, so that students can watch the print and understand how the film was made and how it was cut.